Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is one of the all-time great esports games. The original CSGO Beta was released way back in late 2013, and since then, it has gained a massive following, with hundreds of thousands of people watching tournaments every month. It is currently the fourth-best-selling game of all time, and has been credited with helping games become more mainstream, with casual gamers getting into esports and competitive gaming.
While the game itself is immensely popular, there is a small but dedicated group of people that enjoy betting on esports. It seems that CSGO is the perfect game for this sort of activity, with a wide spectrum of events going on all the time and plenty of competitive tension. A recent addition to the game is the COVA token, which can be used to bet on esports matches. While this might not sound like exciting news, it is potentially big news for the community of esports bettors. Here, we will explore the history of esports betting in general, and how and when CSGO became popular as an esport.
The Rise Of Esports
It’s interesting to note that esports wasn’t always a popular spectator sport. Up until the late 2010s, only a few thousand people a week would turn up to watch Starcraft II matches. Despite this, esports was still growing – and in the right direction. In fact, over the course of the game’s lifespan, Starcraft II is credited with doubling the audience of traditional sports in eSports.
However, things started changing in the early 2010s. The introduction of MOBA games – specifically League of Legends – shattered the paradigm. While traditional sports are generally considered spectator-friendly, competitive gaming requires skillful participation from both the audience and the players. This paradigm shift led to the growth of ‘eSports’ as we know it today: live streaming, online competitions and amateur leagues.
The Birth Of Modern-day Esports
With the rise of Esports came the rise of modern-day esports. Prior to this point, esports involved computer games that were played either by human beings or an AI engine like Blizzard’s DotA, making them more like “virtual sports”. However, in 2013, an anonymous developer took the games that were traditionally played by humans and gave them to a computer, making the playing field more level and the matches more objective. This new form became known as “esports”.
Since then, we have seen the rise of star-studded tournaments with millions of dollars in prizes, and thousands of people watching and participating in online competitions around the world. While these tournaments might seem glamorous to those that don’t follow esports closely, they are a small fraction of the overall esports community, which is made up of millions of fans that follow the professional players and teams.
Where Do We Go From Here?
With all this in mind, it’s clear that the future of esports is extremely promising, as long as the right minds put in the right places think in terms of growth and innovation. The fact that ESPN is investing in esports demonstrates this, as well as many other brands such as HP, Huawei and Lenovo, who have all launched their own esports leagues. It seems that traditional sports such as football and basketball are only going to get involved in esports as a marketing tool, as no one seriously suggests that these games don’t deserve to be on a sports stage.
The main issue facing esports right now is that, as a relatively newer sport, it doesn’t have as much money as the other established sports. The prize pools for the big tournaments are relatively small, and it can be difficult for startups to enter the scene, as there are so many established brands looking to protect their investments. This means that the games aren’t as interesting or innovative as they could be, as no one is trying to “break” new ground. While this might not be important to the spectators, who are watching the games for the entertainment value, it could mean the difference between innovation and stagnation in the world of esports.
On the other hand, it would be a missed opportunity if brands don’t get involved in esports. There are so many talented people that could benefit from a bit of investment, and with the right direction and guidance, these brands could help move esports forward, as well as create an entire ecosystem that makes the sport a bit more pleasant for everyone involved.